When it comes to all around talent, there are few in the industry who can hold a candle to Jennifer Hudson!
With the help of her late grandmother Julia, the Chicago, Illinois native began singing in the church choir and doing community theater at the age of 7. At 20, Hudson signed her first recording contract with Righteous Records, a Chicago-based independent record label. She was later released from a five year contract with the label so that she could appear on American Idol in 2004.
Although she only finished seventh on the show, being a finalist skyrocketed Hudson into superstardom. Her newfound fame helped her land the role of Effie White, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the 2006 film Dreamgirls. This feat made her the youngest African-American to win in a competitive acting category. She then signed to Arista Records and released her self-titled debut studio album in 2008. Hudson went on to win the Grammy Award for Best R&B album.
Since that time, Hudson has continued to reach incredible heights. She won another Grammy in 2017 for Best Musical Theater Album for The Color Purple. In 2021, she received a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on Baby Yaga, where she was a co-producer and voice actress. Earlier this year, after winning a Tony Award for A Strange Loop, she became just the 17th entertainer and only the second African American woman in history to reach legendary EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) status. Now in very rare company, there seems to be nothing that the ultra talented superstar can’t do. It was announced earlier this year that this Fall, she would be getting her own daytime talk show on FOX entitled The Jennifer Hudson Show. Ironically enough, the show’s debut day ended up falling on the day she was born which makes today twice as special. If it goes like everything else she has touched, it surely will be gold in no time. Today, we celebrate an iconic Queen! Take a look at some of our favorite photos of Jennifer Hudson on her 41st lap around the sun, Happy Birthday JHUD!